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(Ireland) Co Dublin: 'There is no place for the [autistic] kids to go' after primary school

Mar 26, 2018, (Ireland) Independent: 'I can't keep my child locked away at home' - Boy (5) with autism has no school place for September A MOTHER has said she fears her five-year-old son with autism will be forced into home-schooling as she can't find a school for him to attend in September. Linda Byrne from Balbriggan, Co Dublin told that she is desperately fighting to get a school place for her son Ryan. Ryan, who has autism, is currently attending pre-school at an Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) unit at an Educate Together school in Skerries, with six other children. … The mainstream school does not have an ASD unit for primary level students and so Linda is desperately searching for a school place for her son for the next school year. … "There needs to be more schools with basic ASD units for children with autism. The Department of Education should be ashamed that these kids are left with no schools to go to."… "It's not just one child that is affected. It's dozens and it happens every year. There is no place for the kids to go. "Another local school that has an ASD unit has a three-year waiting list. … Speaking to, Principal at Skerries Educate Together National School Tomás Hickey said that there is "undoubtedly a crisis emerging in relation to availability of school places for children in the area". … In recognition of this growing issue, the Skerries ETNS Board is intent on exploring the establishment of an ASD resource in the future. However, the Board does not see that such a unit can be set up without proper training and planning as well as a purpose-built facility and input from the relevant Government departments and the National Council For Special Education. … CEO of Autism Ireland, Samantha Judge said while the situation has improved year-on-year, there is a widespread problem of finding schools for children with autism…. "In addition to more placements, there needs to be better training. Teachers in ASD units should ultimately be required to at a minimum, have qualification in autism, but ideally in special education. … "There are now over 1,300 special classes in mainstream schools, compared to 548 in 2011. 1,048 are special classes catering for students diagnosed with ASD, up from 330 in 2011." …

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